Department for Transport LCWIP strategic review

July 2019-April 2020

In May 2017, the Government published its first Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy and set the scene for local authorities to prepare Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans.

For the first 40 pilot LCWIPs, the DfT commissioned a consortium of consultancies to provide strategic and technical review. The consortium comprised WSP, Phil Jones Associates, Sustrans and Cycling UK.

 

Sustrans and Cycling UK were commissioned to provide 'strategic' support, covering document structure, narrative content and presentation, integration with existing local and national policies and strategies and evidence of community and stakeholder engagement.

ActivePlanning was appointed by Cycling UK to provide strategic support and review for 16 of the pilot LCWIPs and to report directly to Sustrans as the lead strategic support consultancy. 

We also provided strategic advice and support to local authorities including:

  • Advice on structure, content and narrative.

  • Advice on best practice approaches taken by other authorities (this took time to build up).

  • Strategic review which was copied to some of the authorities but was mostly used to inform the DfT.

Outcomes of the work included a much more in-depth understanding of best practice approaches to LCWIP preparation. This included the limitations of existing statistical datasets which are largely based on Census information that is over 10 years old. We also gained an understanding of the limits of local authority knowledge and ideas about how to provide for active travel.

Post-COVID-19, the 'landscape' for active travel will be very different, with more emphasis on generating demand for walking and cycling rather than responding to it. The Government is clear that active travel must be encouraged in order to replace lost public transport capacity and prevent congestion due to more car reliance. LCWIPs will continue to play a central role but it seems likely that they will be speeded up.